You guys, it may not look like it but this dress was almost my complete undoing. Complete undoing. Most of the time a pattern undoes me because it doesn't fit. And this one did not fit. It's hard to tell from this picture but the bodice has two parts: the halter top and a separate gathered piece at the waist. The gathered part gets basted onto squares of lining and you can't really know if it's going to fit until the whole bodice is put together. When I finally put it together, the top was humongous and falling off me and the waist was too tight. Crikey. I fixed the waist (which was a pain and wasn't easy) but there was nothing I could do to salvage the ginormo top. (By the way, kudos to the woman who could actually fit that bust because I didn't even come close.) So I went back to the stupid fabric store to get more fabric and try the top again. Instead of using the Butterick pattern for it, though, I used a different view from New Look 6676 which I already knew fit. I widened the straps to look more like the original Butterick pattern and thank god that worked because I was already in so deep, who knows what I would've done to make that sucker work.
In hindsight, I should have made the dress in muslin first. Do you ever do that? That would have been a smart thing to do. Also, it's quite hard to pin things on yourself so I finally got a customizable dress form after needing one for years. So now that I'm armed with ten yards of muslin and a new dress form, ill-fitting bodices should be a thing of the past… right?
All that said, I really like how this dress turned out. I wore it over the weekend and it was one of the most wearable and low-maintenance dresses I've ever worn. Absolutely worth the trouble.